Assistance Available for the Homeless

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HARLINGEN – Homelessness is an issue in the Rio Grande Valley, just like many other places in the United States. But, a person being homeless and coping with mental health issues may create a severe problem.

Jose Tindall spent his nights sleeping at Loaves and Fishes in Harlingen about a month ago, receiving any care that was available.

“They have them here too. They got AA meetings, drugs programs, and all that, they sure do,” he explained.

Tindall currently spent his day applying for a job. He walked into stores and asked if job applications were available.

He’s looking for assistance to help cope with the daily struggles of being homeless.

“I know people get frustrated but its day by day you got to go by,” Tindall said.

The help and resources are available for people in similar situations.

Josephine Lopez with Tropical Texas Behavioral Health, the program supervisor for adult mental services, said they do outreach and screenings for individuals to determine eligibility for services.

Their P.A.T.H. program is geared towards helping adults transition from homelessness. To qualify for the assistance, the person has to be homeless or be at risk of becoming homeless and have a serious mental illness.

Certain steps need to be taken to determine what services they qualify for.

“We would refer them in for an intact at Tropical Services and have a full assessment and diagnostics done with an LPHA, and determine a level of care for services,” she said.

For Tindall, the daily grind can be more difficult than for others.

“I didn’t finish high school, so I just went to 8th grade, so I’m not that really intelligent,” he said.

Tindall carries the same attitude to start the day.

“Ask God for help, and stay out of trouble and be nice to people,” he said.

Tindall knows help is out there and said if people want it they shouldn’t be afraid to ask.

There are several different facilities in the Valley that are available for the homeless with mental health issues. If you or someone you know may need help, call Tropical Texas Behavioral Health at (956) 968-8551. Or you can call the South Texas Behavioral Health Center at (956) 388-1300.

For more information and stories visit Heart of the Valley: Mental Health.


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